• MILF coddling BIFF, military official claims

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    A SECURITY official wants the provision of the guidelines on the government’s ceasefire with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) revised he accused the separatist group of coddling the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) whose jihadist members recently engaged government forces in a firefight in Maguindanao.

    “There is a need to revisit yung provisions ng ceasefire guidelines, dahil marunong nang gumamit ng ceasefire guidelines itong BIFF. Hindi kasi sumusunod sa tama yung MILF.

    Ang sinasabi nila they will not allow lawless elements or criminal elements or terrorists to go inside their community, kung meron man huhulihin nila ito at i-contain nila papunta sa security. Ginawa ba yan? Wala! E sila rin ang nanguna dyan e, nanunog ng backhoe BIFF, pero pag habulin mo MILF na sya, yan ang reality pero papaano i-report yan, I do not know.”

    (There is a need to revisit the ceasefire guidelines because the BIFF is taking advantage of the MILF’s ceasefire with the government. The MILF is not following the rules. They said they will not allow lawless elements or terrorists to go inside their community. If ever, they will arrest and contain these people. Did they implement it? No! The BIFF burned a backhoe but when you pursue them, they became MILF. That’s the reality. How can you report it, I do not know),” said a disgusted military official who requested anonymity.

    He was referring to the recent clashes between the BIFF and government forces where the bandit group attacked a dredging project in Datu Salibo town in Maguindanao.

    Asked to confirm if the armed group that the military encountered on Wednesday belonged to the MILF, the official said this is still being determined because its community is teeming with the BIFF. The soldier who was reportedly wounded during the encounter died Wednesday night, the official disclosed.

    “Bakit pinayagan nila yung BIFF na pumasok dun sa community na sinasabi nilang community nila when in fact hinahabol yun dun sa katabing barangay which is adjacent, yung Barangay Andavit at Barangay Tee? Wala kaming na-vaviolate sa ceasefire provision dahil allowed naman yung pursuit dahil pi-nursue sila. Pumasok, bakit in-allow ng MILF na pumasok dun sa community nila, pero ang totoo lang nyan e iisa lang naman yan, yan ang totoo sa ground pero hindi naman natin pwedeng isulat yan dito o ilabas sa public dahil holding pa naman yung peace talks e, holding yung ceasefire.

    (Why did the MILF allow the BIFF to enter the community that they claim is theirs when in fact the BIFF was being pursued in Barangays Andavit and Tee? We violated no ceasefire provision because we are allowed to pursue an enemy. The BIFF entered and the MILF allowed them. The fact is, the BIFF and the MILF are just one group, but we cannot say it publicly because the peace talks and ceasefire are still holding),” he explained.

    As a result, the official said ground troops could no longer determine which is MILF and which is BIFF.

    On Wednesday, a military source disclosed that members of the 61st Division Reconnaissance Company and MILF rebels clashed in Barangay Dawang, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

    Asked if those engaged by the soldiers were indeed MILF, the security official said: “Isang grupo lang yan. Kapag gumawa ng katarantaduhan at hinabol mo na, nagiging MILF. Kaya sino ba ang maniniwala, kaya nga sincerity, kaya ang hirap ibenta ng BBL (They are one and the same. They will create atrocities and when you pursue them they suddenly become MILF. Who will ever believe that. That is why we need sincerity here. This is the reason why it is hard to pass [into law]the BBL).”

    According to him, the problem has been brought to the attention of higher authorities but the primacy of the peace process always prevails.

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    1 Comment

    1. This is the end result for not passing the BBL, and there will be more problems and confusions coming up that will result more casualties on both sides. This is unnecessary internal conflict that could have been avoided long time ago. Civilian casualties, young and old that do not have anything to do with conflict are innocent victims as well. All they (Bangsamoro) wanted was for them to be involved in their government and an equal share of the pie from the central government. The initiative was started, but these politicians that crafted this law did not have the honest desire for this proposed law to be passed.

      The campaign season just started and as usual, politicians hitting the roads, promising people everything and anything just to get their votes. Most candidates have platforms, what would they do when elected in office. As far as I am concerned, these promises are shallow, and it can only remain to be seen. None of these candidates mentioned about reviving the BBL. However, one candidate have proposed to push for Federalism, a system that would also requires or mandate the central government to equally distribute the wealth to all part of the nation, based on whatever guidelines that they may have.